Benny Friedman

American football player, coach, and athletic administrator (1905–1982)

American football player
Benny Friedman
No. 6, 21, 1, 26
Personal information
Born:(1905-03-18)March 18, 1905
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died:November 24, 1982(1982-11-24) (aged 77)
New York, New York, U.S.
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:183 lb (83 kg)
Career information
High school:Glenville (Cleveland, Ohio)
Career history
As a player:
  • Cleveland Bulldogs (1927)
  • Detroit Wolverines (1928)
  • New York Giants (1929–1931)
  • Brooklyn Dodgers (1932–1934)
As a coach:
  • New York Giants (1930)
    (Head coach)
  • Yale (1931)
    (Backfield coach)
  • Brooklyn Dodgers (1932)
    (Head coach)
  • CCNY (1934–1941)
    (Head coach)
  • Great Lakes Navy (1942)
    (Assistant coach)
  • Brandeis (1950–1959)
    (Head coach)
As an executive:
  • Brandeis (1949–1962)
    (Athletic director)
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing touchdowns:66
Rushing touchdowns:18
Head coaching record
Career:5–9–0 (.357)
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

Benjamin Friedman (March 18, 1905 – November 24, 1982) was an American football player and coach, and athletic administrator.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Friedman played college football as a halfback and quarterback for the University of Michigan Wolverines from 1924 to 1926. Friedman played in the backfield on both offense and defense, handled kicking and return duties, and was known for his passing game. He was a consensus first-team All-American in both 1925 and 1926, and won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference in 1926.

Friedman also played eight seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the Cleveland Bulldogs (1927), Detroit Wolverines (1928), New York Giants (1929–1931), and Brooklyn Dodgers (1932–1934). He was the leading passer of his era in the NFL and is credited with revolutionizing the game with his passing prowess. He led the league in passing for four consecutive years from 1927 to 1930, and was selected as the first-team All-NFL quarterback in each of those years. He also served as the head coach of the Giants for the last 2 games of the 1930 season, both were victories. Then he was the head coach of the Dodgers during the 1932 season.

Friedman later served as the head football coach at City College of New York from 1934 to 1941, and at Brandeis University from 1950 to 1959. He was also the first Athletic Director at Brandeis, holding the position from 1949 to 1963. During World War II, he was a lieutenant in the United States Navy, serving as the deck officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La in the Pacific theater. He was part of the inaugural class of inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, and was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Early life

Friedman was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and was Jewish.[1][2][3] His father, Louis Friedman, was a Jewish tailor and furrier who immigrated to the United States from the Russian Empire[4] in approximately 1890. His mother, Mayme (or Mamy) Atlevonik Friedman,[5][6] was also a Russian Jew, who came to the United States in approximately 1894. His parents had five children: Rebecca (born c. 1898 in New Jersey); Harry (born c. 1900 in New York); Florence (born c. 1904 in New York); Benjamin; and Sydney (born c. 1908 in Ohio).[7][8][9]

Friedman began his high school education at East Technical High School in Cleveland. Sam Willaman, the school's football coach, told Friedman, who was then five feet, six inches, and less than 150 pounds, that, due to his small size, he would never make it as a football player.[10][11] After being rejected by Willaman, Friedman transferred to Glenville High School on the east side of Cleveland. He played football, baseball and basketball and led Glenville's football team to the city championship in 1922.[8][12]

University of Michigan

Friedman enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1923. He played on the all-freshman football team in the fall of 1923.[13]

1924 season

As a sophomore for the 1924 Michigan Wolverines football team, Friedman began the season as a backup. However, after an embarrassing 39–14 loss to Red Grange's Illinois team, head coach George Little made several changes to Michigan's lineup, including inserting Friedman as a starter at right halfback. Friedman remained at the right halfback position for the final five games of the season, and the Wolverines compiled a 4–1 record in those games. According to one account, "Friedman immediately changed Michigan from an ordinary football team into a great one."[14]

On October 25, 1925, in his first collegiate start, Friedman helped Michigan defeat Wisconsin, 21–0. The New York Times noted that Michigan had found "a new and dazzling gridiron meteor".[15] Friedman was responsible for all three Michigan touchdowns. In the second quarter, he completed a "perfect pass spiraling" to Herb Steger for a 35-yard gain and Michigan's first points. In the third quarter, Friedman broke through Wisconsin's left tackle and ran 26 yards for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, he threw a 29-yard pass to Charles Grube who was tackled at the seven-yard line, setting up a touchdown run by Dutch Marion.[15]

Two weeks later, Friedman threw three touchdown passes in a 27–0 victory over Northwestern. One of Michigan's touchdowns was set up when Friedman intercepted a Northwestern pass and returned it 13 yards. On the next play, Friedman threw a touchdown pass to Dutch Marion.[16]

At the end of the 1924 season, Friedman was the subject of a feature story by syndicated sports writer Billy Evans. Evans described Friedman's soft passing touch: "Michigan receivers say that Friedman's passes float through the air like a feather, literally float in the air until you pluck the ball out of the ozone."[17]

1925 season

Friedman at Michigan

As a junior, Friedman moved to the quarterback position and started all eight games. He led the 1925 Michigan team to a 7–1 record and a Big Ten Conference championship, as the Wolverines outscored opponents by a combined score of 227 to 3. The only points allowed by the team were in a 3 to 2 loss to Northwestern in a game played in a heavy rainstorm on a field covered in mud five or six inches deep in some places. At the end of the season, Michigan coach Fielding H. Yost called the 1925 Michigan team "the greatest football team I ever coached" and "the greatest football team I ever saw in action."[18]

In the season opener, a 39–0 victory over Michigan State College, Friedman scored the first touchdown on a 65-yard run.[19] Later in the half, Friedman completed a pass to Charles Grube for a 20-yard gain and then completed another pass to Bruce Gregory for a 30-yard gain and a touchdown. In the second half, Friedman intercepted a pass and then completed a pass to Bennie Oosterbaan for a 24-yard gain and a touchdown.[20] In the second game of the season, Friedman led Michigan to a 63–0 victory over Indiana. Friedman accounted for 50 points, throwing five touchdown passes, running 55 yards for a touchdown, and kicking two field goals and eight extra points.[21]

Friedman's 85-yard kickoff return against Wisconsin.

In Michigan's third game, a 21–0 victory over Wisconsin, Friedman threw a pass to Bruce Gregory for a 62-yard gain and a touchdown. Following the touchdown, Wisconsin kicked off, and Friedman returned the kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. Friedman converted both extra points, and Michigan led, 14–0, after the first three plays. The AP noted: "It took just thirty-one seconds for Michigan to win the game at Madison and show the football world that Benny Friedman is destined for top rank among the great players developed by Yost."[22]

On October 31, Friedman threw two touchdown passes in a 54–0 victory over Navy.[23] Friedman also kicked five extra points in the game.[23][24] Writing in the Chicago Daily Tribune, James Crusinberry wrote: "If any one man stood out, it was Benny Friedman, who hurled forward passes with accuracy and abandon time after time. . . . Besides that, Benny was a regular whirligig in carrying the ball. And it was Benny who was the field general. His selections of plays was something that would make any general envious."[25] Crusinberry later added: "And now we have Mr. Yost's new Michigan team, with not a Grange on it, but with one of the brainiest players of the age in Benny Friedman and a lot of smart fellows to work with him. Before Benny Friedman ends his career all the teams of the country, even the Navy, will have abandoned the old style football and will be using, or at least trying to use, smart and unexpected stuff. It gains ground, it is spectacular, and it wins."[26]

In the final game of the season, Friedman led Michigan to a 35–0 victory over Minnesota for the Wolverines' seventh shutout in eight games. Friedman threw two touchdown passes to Oosterbaan, completed seven of 16 pass attempts for 130 yards, and converted all five extra-point kicks.[27]

Historic data collected by the NCAA indicates that Friedman completed 34 of 83 passes during the 1925 season with 13 touchdown passes and eight interceptions.[28] Friedman and Oosterbaan were both selected as consensus first-team All-Americans.[29] The passing combination of Friedman and Oosterbaan, which became known as "The Benny-To-Bennie Show,"[30][31] is considered "one of the greatest passing combinations in college football history."[32][33][34][35]

1926 season

At the close of the 1925 season, Friedman was elected by his teammates to serve as the captain of the 1926 Michigan team.[36] As captain, Friedman started seven of eight games at quarterback and led the 1926 team to a 7–1 record and a tie for the Big Ten Conference championship.[37] The team's only loss was to national champion Navy.

Friedman was a triple-threat man for the 1926 team. In addition to passing, he handled kicking duties, returned punts, caught passes, and played in the backfield on both offense and defense. Much like Hank Greenberg in the 1930s, Friedman's success in the 1920s was a source of pride for Jews across the United States. In November 1926, at a ceremony before Michigan's game in Baltimore against Navy, "The Jewish Times" presented Friedman with a statue of himself running down the field.[38]

At the end of the season, Friedman was a consensus All-American for the second consecutive year.[39] He received first-team honors from the Associated Press, based on polling of "more than 100 coaches and critics"[40] Collier's Weekly as selected by Grantland Rice with cooperation from ten leading coaches,[41] the International News Service, the Newspaper Enterprise Association, the Central Press Association, based on a poll conducted by Norman Brown of 500 newspapers, each of which conducted its own election in which fans voted for the All-American team; Central Press reported compiling a million votes.[42][43] New York Sun[44] and Walter Eckersall.[45] He also received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the Big Ten Conference.[46]

Professional football

Cleveland Bulldogs

In August 1927, Friedman announced that he would play professional football for the Cleveland Bulldogs in the National Football League (NFL).[47] During the 1927 season, Friedman started all 13 games at quarterback and led Cleveland to an 8–4–1 record. Cleveland had the top scoring offense in the league with an average of 16.1 points per game.[48] In his first NFL game, he threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Al Bloodgood.[49] He led the NFL during the 1927 with 12 passing touchdowns and 1,721+ passing yards; his closest competitors totaled seven passing touchdowns and 1,362 passing yards.[8] He was selected as a first-team All-NFL player by both the Chicago Tribune and the Green Bay Press Gazette.[1]

Detroit Wolverines

In 1928, the Cleveland NFL franchise moved to Detroit and became known as the Detroit Wolverines. Friedman started all 10 games for the Wolverines and led the club to a 7–2–1 record. With Friedman at the helm, Detroit also had the top-scoring offense in the league with an average of 18.9 points scored per game.[50] For the second straight season, he led the NFL with 10 passing touchdowns (double the next highest total) and 1,120+ yards,[8] and was again selected as a first-team All-NFL player by both the Chicago Tribune and the Green Bay Press Gazette.[1] Friedman also led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 1928, making him the only player in NFL history to lead the league in both passing and rushing touchdowns in the same season.[51]

New York Giants

Friedman with the Giants 1929

In July 1929, Friedman signed with the New York Giants.[52] In his first year in New York, Friedman appeared in all 15 games and led the 1929 Giants to a 13–1–1 record, second best in the NFL. The Giants also had the top scoring offense in the league with an average of 20.8 points per game.[53] Friedman led the NFL with 985 passing yards,[8] and his 20 touchdown passes set an NFL single season record that stood until 1942.[54] After the final game of the 1929 season, one sports writer noted: "The uncanny field generalship of Friedman, combined with his bullet passes, was a big factor in the Giants' thirteenth and last victory of the season."[55]

In 1930, Friedman had another strong season, appearing in 15 games for the Giants and helping the team to a 13–4 record. The Giants again finished in second place in the NFL and had the top scoring offense in the league with 18.1 points scored per game.[56] Friedman led the NFL with 922 passing yards and 10 touchdown passes in 1930.[8] For the fourth consecutive season, Friedman was selected as a first-team All-NFL player.[1]

Friedman's passing proficiency was especially noteworthy considering that the football used at the time was rounder and more difficult to throw.[57] Friedman called plays at the line of scrimmage and threw on first and second down, when most teams waited until third down.[58] "Benny revolutionized football. He forced the defenses out of the dark ages." George Halas later said.[59]

In February 1931, Friedman announced that he intended to retire from professional football.[60] He was hired as an assistant coach for the Yale Bulldogs football team.[61] On October 26, 1931, Friedman signed a contract to return to the Giants for the remainder of the season. Since the Giants' practices were held in the morning, Friedman indicated that his duties with the Giants would not conflict with his coaching duties at Yale.[62] Friedman appeared in nine games for the 1931 Giants.[1]

Brooklyn Dodgers

In March 1932, Friedman signed as player, manager, and coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers.[63] The Dodgers compiled a 3–9 record in 1932.[64]

Friedman signed to return to the Dodgers in September 1933, though he did not serve as the head coach in 1933. He started five of ten games for the 1933 Dodgers.[65] His average of 84.9 passing yards per game led the NFL for the 1933 season.[1]

In 1934, Friedman appeared in only one NFL game.[1]

Career accomplishments

In his eight seasons in the NFL, statistics are incomplete, but he appeared in 81 games, compiled at least 5,326 passing yards, and had 66 touchdown passes and 51 passes intercepted. He was the NFL's career leader in passing yardage until Sammy Baugh's seventh NFL season in 1947. Friedman also totaled over 1,000 yards rushing and over 400 yards on punt returns.[8] At the time of his retirement, Friedman also held the NFL record with 66 career touchdown passes.[66][67]

Coaching career and military service

City College of New York

In February 1934, Friedman was hired as the football coach at City College of New York.[68] He remained the coach at City College through the 1941 season, stepping down in 1942 for military service. Friedman's City College teams compiled a composite record of 27–31–4.[8]

Military service

USS Shangri-La in 1946

In the summer of 1942, Friedman enlisted in the United States Navy with the rank of lieutenant. He was named an assistant football coach at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in North Chicago, Illinois.[69] He later served as the deck officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II.[70]

After being discharged, he went into the automobile sales business.[71] He operated a Jeep dealership in Detroit.

Brandeis University

In June 1949, Friedman was hired as the athletic director at Brandeis University, a university founded in 1948 at Waltham, Massachusetts.[72] He was also the school's first coach of the Brandeis football team when it began play in 1950.[73] He remained the head football coach at Brandeis through the 1959 season. Despite the limited enrollment, the first years of the football program were incredibly successful winning their first game against the prestigious Harvard freshman team. In the following years Friedman's Judges posted a winning record in their first varsity season as well as going 6-1 in 1957, the team's best record. Friedman's run as head coach of the Judges was filled with years of struggles to attract high end talent. Additionally, players at Brandeis were required to maintain certain academic standards that made it challenging for Friedman to recruit.[1] Despite this, in 10 years as head coach, Friedman's Brandeis football teams compiled a winning record of 38–35–4.[74]

In 1960, Brandeis discontinued its football program, noting that "the per capita cost of fielding a varsity football team is inordinately high in relation to other varsity and intramural sports."[75] Despite the end of the football program, Friedman remained as the athletic director at Brandeis until April 1963 when he resigned his post.[76]

Halls of Fame and other honors

When the College Football Hall of Fame was established in 1951, Friedman was part of the inaugural group of 32 players and 21 coaches to be inducted.[77]

Friedman also received acclaim for his professional football career. Sports writer Paul Gallico called Friedman "the greatest football player in the world."[78] Wellington Mara, the owner of the New York Giants, said of Friedman, "He was the Johnny Unitas of his day. He was the best of his time."[78] George Halas gave Friedman credit for revolutionizing the game with his passing and wrote an article in 1967 titled "Halas Calls Friedman Pioneer Passer – Rest Came By Design."[79]

However, when the Pro Football Hall of Fame was established in 1963, Friedman was overlooked. As years passed, numerous quarterbacks were inducted, including Sammy Baugh (1963), Dutch Clark (1963), Jimmy Conzelman (1964), Paddy Driscoll (1965), Otto Graham (1965), Sid Luckman (1965), Bob Waterfield (1965), Arnie Herber (1966), Bobby Layne (1967), Y. A. Tittle (1971), Norm Van Brocklin (1971), and Ace Parker (1972). Friedman's frustration grew as he continued to be overlooked. In February 1976, more than 40 years after his NFL career had ended, he wrote a letter to The New York Times pleading his case.[80] It was not until 2005, 23 years after his death, that Friedman was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[81] A group of 40 to 50 players who played for him at Brandeis printed brochures and lobbied for his induction. He was then nominated by the Hall's veterans committee and received the requisite votes by a 39-member panel of selectors.[82]

Friedman has received numerous other honors, including the following:

Family and later years

Friedman was married in February 1931 to Shirley Immerman, a resident of Brooklyn. The wedding was held at a Long Island country club with Guy Lombardo and his orchestra providing the entertainment.[89][90] They were married for more than 50 years.

In 1949, Friedman became Brandeis University's first athletic director. He also served as head football coach until the school dropped the program. He went on sabbatical in September 1962 and resigned the following April, citing business pressures and the growth of his boys' quarterback school at Camp Kohut in Oxford, Maine.[91][92] He sold the camp in 1969.[93]

In his later years, Friedman suffered from multiple health problems. He battled and beat cancer, underwent back surgery, and suffered from heart disease and diabetes.[94][95] In April 1979, Friedman developed a diffused clot of arteries in his left leg that resulted in gangrene. He underwent a partial amputation of his left leg below the knee.[96]

In November 1982, he was found dead in his apartment in New York City as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He left a note indicating that he was "severely depressed."[97][98] Friedman was survived by his wife, Shirley, a brother, and a sister.[98]

Professional wrestler Maxwell Jacob Friedman claims to be a relative of Friedman.[99]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
CCNY Beavers (Independent) (1934–1941)
1934 CCNY 4–3
1935 CCNY 4–3
1936 CCNY 4–4
1937 CCNY 5–2
1938 CCNY 4–3
1939 CCNY 1–7
1940 CCNY 1–5–1
1941 CCNY 4–4
CCNY: 27–31–1
Brandeis Judges (NCAA College Division independent) (1950–1959)
1950 Brandeis 4–2
1951 Brandeis 4–5
1952 Brandeis 5–2–1
1953 Brandeis 4–3
1954 Brandeis 5–3
1955 Brandeis 5–3
1956 Brandeis 3–4–2
1957 Brandeis 6–1
1958 Brandeis 2–5
1959 Brandeis 0–7–1
Brandeis: 38–35–4
Total: 65–66–5

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Benny Friedman". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003," database with images, FamilySearch ( : May 24, 2016), Benjamin Friedman, March 18, 1905; citing Birth, Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States, county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 1,852,668.
  3. ^ Jewish Sports Stars: Athletic Heroes Past and Present - David J. Goldman - Google Books
  4. ^ Note that the 1910 US Census identifies Louis Friedman as "Russ.-Polish". In 1910, Poland lacked independence and was part of the Russian Empire; accordingly, Louis may have been from historic Polish territory. The 1930 US Census, however, identifies Louis' heritage as Russian.
  5. ^ Friedman's mother was referred to as Mayme in the 1910 US Census and as Mamy in the 1930 US Census.
  6. ^ The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives: 1981-1985 - Kenneth T. Jackson - Google Books
  7. ^ Murray Greenberg (2008). Passing Game: Benny Friedman and the Transformation of Football. PublicAffairs. p. 6. ISBN 978-0786726950.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Jim Whalen and C.C. Staph (1986). "The Facts About Friedman" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. Pro Football Researchers.
  9. ^ 1910 US Census entry for Louis Friedman and family. Census Place: Cleveland Ward 20, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: T624_1171; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0302; FHL microfilm: 1375184. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
  10. ^ Harry Grayson (December 11, 1943). "Friedman Overcame Discouragement To Be Greatest Player of His Period". The News-Herald (NEA wire story). p. 7 – via Open access icon
  11. ^ Murray Greenbert, Passing Game, p. 11.
  12. ^ John J. Grabowski (1992). Sports in Cleveland: An Illustrated History. Indiana University Press. p. 55. ISBN 0253207479.
  13. ^ "University of Michigan Football Rosters". Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  14. ^ "100–to–1 Shot a Derby Favorite". The News-Herald. December 29, 1924. p. 8 – via Open access icon
  15. ^ a b "Michigan Defeats Wisconsin, 21 to 0: Friedman's Passing and Running Lead to Three Touchdowns by Wolverines; 45,000 Witness Contest". The New York Times. October 26, 1924.
  16. ^ "Michigan Crew Has Easy Time in Home Battle: Northwestern Falls to 27–0 Score – Rockwell Scores Three Touchdowns". Youngstown Vindicator (AP story). November 9, 1924. p. 4C.
  17. ^ Billy Evans (November 25, 1924). "Friedman Is Michigan's Big Find". The News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Mich.). p. 5 – via Open access icon
  18. ^ "Yost Calls 1925 Eleven Greatest: Does Not Even Except Wonderful Teams of 1901 and 1902; Rolled Up Grand 227 Point Total; Wolverine Mentor Says He's Proud to Have Coached Boys". The Hartford Courant. November 29, 1925. p. B2.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "30,000 See Michigan Take Opener, 39–0: Friedman Stars as Wolverines Beat Michigan State Before Record Crowd". The New York Times. October 4, 1925.
  20. ^ "YOSTMEN STRIKE THROUGH AIR TO NIP STATE, 39–0: EASY FOR MICHIGAN". Chicago Daily Tribune. October 4, 1925. p. A3.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "Michigan Crushes Indiana by 63–0: Wins Easily Behind Brilliant Work of Friedman, Who Is Star of Game". The New York Times. October 11, 1925.
  22. ^ "Michigan Eleven Leads in Big Ten: Decisive Victory Over Wisconsin Puts Yost's Team in Van – Chicago Has Great Defense". The New York Times (AP story). October 19, 1925.
  23. ^ a b Richards Vidmer (November 1, 1925). "Michigan Crushes Navy Eleven, 54–0: Yost's Great Wolverine Machine Rolls Relentlessly Over the Middies Eight Times; Excels in Every Phase; Powerful Line Blocks Navy While Friedman and Other Backs Execute Plays at Will". The New York Times.
  24. ^ Jack Hackleman (December 5, 1956). "1925 Version of Michigan Eleven Called Greatest Work of Pigskin Artist Yost". The Commerce Daily Journal.
  25. ^ James Crusinberry (November 1, 1925). "Michigan Sinks Navy Gridiron Craft, 54 to 0: Baffling Passes Rout Midshipmen; Near Point a Minute". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. A1.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ James Crusinberry (November 3, 1925). "Brains Replace Beef on Winning Football Teams: Michigan Victory Proves Value of Wits". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 25. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  27. ^ James Crusinberry (November 22, 1925). "Michigan Ruins Gophers' Title Hopes, 35 to 0: Victory Gives Them Claim on Title". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. A1.[permanent dead link]
  28. ^ "NCAA Football's Finest" (PDF). NCAA. 2002. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  29. ^ "All-America Roster" (PDF). NCAA. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 1, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  30. ^ Will Perry, The Wolverines, pp. 109–112 (Chapter 18 concerning the 1925 and 1926 seasons is titled "The Benny-To-Bennie Show.")
  31. ^ "What's a Michigan Man?". Maize and Blue Football Fans. January 5, 2011.
  32. ^ Dick Parker. "Friedman to Oosterbaan" (PDF). LA84 Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 13, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  33. ^ Jordan Krumey (March 22, 2009). "Benny To Bennie: The Connection That Changed College Football". Bleacher Report.
  34. ^ Murray Greenberg (2008). Passing Game: Benny Friedman and the Transformation of Football. Public Affairs. ISBN 9781586484774.
  35. ^ "Benni Oosterbaan: Class of 1987". Muskegon Ara Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  36. ^ "Benny Friedman Selected as Captain of Michigan's 1926 Football Squad". The Detroit Free Press. November 24, 1925. p. 22 – via Open access icon
  37. ^ "1926 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  38. ^ "Benny Friedman, Jewish Football Star, Honored". Jewish Daily Bulletin. November 3, 1926.
  39. ^ "2014 NCAA Football Records: Consensus All-America Selections" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 2014. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 26, 2018. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  40. ^ "Middle West Given The Lion's Share in All-American Selections". The Huntington Press. Indiana. December 5, 1926 – via Open access icon
  41. ^ "Seven Western Players Named On Collier's All-American; Big Three Teams Are Slighted". Charleston Daily Mail. December 6, 1926.
  42. ^ Norman Brown (December 13, 1926). "Six Mid-West Stars Are On Nation's All-American Football Selection: Mythical Team of Million Grid Fans Released; 500 Newspapers Conduct Poll to Get Genuine Football Eleven". The Davenport Democrat And Leader.
  43. ^ "Fans Select First All-American Grid Team". Billings Gazette. December 13, 1926.
  44. ^ "All-American Is Chosen By New York Sun". Athens Messenger. November 28, 1926.
  45. ^ "These Players Honored by Eckersall with Places on All-America Team". Detroit Free Press. December 12, 1926. p. 29.
  46. ^ ""Big Ten" Trophy Goes To Friedman". The Lincoln Star. December 19, 1926. p. 10 – via Open access icon
  47. ^ "Benny Joins Cleveland Pros". The Des Moines Register. August 7, 1927. p. 19 – via Open access icon
  48. ^ "1927 Cleveland Bulldogs Statistics & Players". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  49. ^ "1927 Cleveland Bulldogs Statistics & Players". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  50. ^ "1928 Detroit Wolverines Statistics & Players". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  51. ^ "Benny Friedman Bio". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  52. ^ "Benny Friedman To Lead Giants". Detroit Free Press. July 18, 1929. p. 17 – via Open access icon
  53. ^ "1929 New York Giants Statistics & Players". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  54. ^ "NFL Year-by-Year Passing Touchdowns Leaders". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  55. ^ "Benny Friedman and His Giants Win Last Contest". The Coschocton (OH) Tribune. December 16, 1929. p. 2 – via Open access icon
  56. ^ "1930 New York Giants Statistics & Players". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  57. ^ Gottehrer. pg. 55
  58. ^ Gottehrer. pgs. 65, 82–3
  59. ^ Gottehrer. pg. 65
  60. ^ "Benny Friedman Plans To Quit Pro Football For Chance To Coach". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 13, 1931. p. 26 – via Open access icon
  61. ^ "Benny Friedman Signs To Coach Yale Eleven". Los Angeles Times. February 5, 1931. p. 24 – via Open access icon
  62. ^ "Benny Friedman To Rejoin Giants". The Indianapolis Star. October 27, 1931. p. 14 – via Open access icon
  63. ^ "Benny Friedman Signs With Brooklyn Eleven". Detroit Free Press. March 23, 1932. p. 17 – via Open access icon
  64. ^ "1932 Brooklyn Dodgers Statistics & Players". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  65. ^ "1933 Brooklyn Dodgers Statistics & Players". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  66. ^ "NFL Career Passing Touchdowns Leaders". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  67. ^ "The Little Giant: Former Michigan star called 'best I ever played against' by Red Grange". Lansing (MI) State Journal (AP story). August 5, 2005. p. 19 – via Open access icon
  68. ^ "Ben Friedman Signs To Coach City College". Plainfield, N.J., Courier News. February 5, 1934. p. 16.
  69. ^ "Friedman Named Navy Coach". Montana Standard. August 30, 1942. p. 21 – via Open access icon
  70. ^ "Benny Friedman Has Hands Busy In Navy Instead of Football". The Fresno Bee. July 28, 1945. p. 6 – via Open access icon
  71. ^ "Friedman Set to Tackle Auto Business". Detroit Free Press. November 28, 1945. p. 14 – via Open access icon
  72. ^ "Benny Friedman Named Brandeis Athletic Head". The News Journal. June 16, 1949. p. 42 – via Open access icon
  73. ^ "Building Sports at Brandeis U.: Friedman Turns Trailblazer". Detroit Free Press. October 31, 1950. p. 16 – via Open access icon
  74. ^ "Benny Friedman Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. David DeLassus. Archived from the original on August 5, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  75. ^ "Friedman Left Without Football". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 22, 1960. p. 31 – via Open access icon
  76. ^ "Friedman Quits Brandeis Post". The Des Moines Register. April 29, 1963. p. 19 – via Open access icon
  77. ^ "Name 32 Players, 21 Coaches To Football's Hall of Fame". Ironwood Daily Globe. November 5, 1951. p. 8 – via Open access icon
  78. ^ a b "The man that fame forgot". The Boston Globe. January 30, 2005.
  79. ^ "Class of 2005 Clippings". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  80. ^ "Sports Editor's Mailbox: Football Hall of Fame/N.F.L. Essay/Hockey Soreheads". The New York Times. February 8, 1976.
  81. ^ "Friedman to be inducted to Football Hall of Fame". Jewish Post. April 6, 2005. p. 16.
  82. ^ Barry Wilner (August 5, 2005). "NFL pioneer Friedman headed to Hall posthumously". The Anniston Star (AP story). p. 24 – via Open access icon
  83. ^ "Six Named To Michigan Fame Hall". The News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Mich.). May 15, 1961. p. 12 – via Open access icon
  84. ^ "1976 Inductees". Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  85. ^ "Benny Friedman profile". International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  86. ^ "Friedman heads Hall of Honor". Detroit Free Press. July 11, 1980. p. 6D – via Open access icon
  87. ^ "Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor". Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  88. ^ "Inductees". Archived from the original on February 13, 2007.
  89. ^ Greenberg, Passing Game, p. 236.
  90. ^ "Cupid Wins This Game". The Eugene Guard. February 12, 1931. p. 5C – via Open access icon
  91. ^ "Friedman Resigns Post In Athletics at Brandeis". The New York Times. April 29, 1963.
  92. ^ "Benny Friedman Holds Quarterback 'School'". The Portsmouth (NH) Herald. August 13, 1963. p. 9 – via Open access icon
  93. ^ "Friedman Sells Maine Grid Camp; Planning to Open Seven More". Fitchburg Sentinel. July 8, 1969. p. 7 – via Open access icon
  94. ^ "More Injuries Now Than '27 For Quarterbacks – Friedman". Florence Morning News. October 14, 1977. p. 21 – via Open access icon
  95. ^ Sheldon Kirshner (December 2, 2009). "American Jewish Football Player Revolutionized the Game". The Canadian Jewish News.
  96. ^ "Wolverine great Friedman has his left leg amputated". Detroit Free Press. April 28, 1979. p. 1C – via Open access icon
  97. ^ "Ex-Wolverine QB Friedman found dead". Detroit Free Press. November 24, 1982. p. 1D – via Open access icon
  98. ^ a b James Tuite (November 24, 1982). "Benny Friedman, Star Passer At Michigan And With Pros". The New York Times.
  99. ^ Farhan Shafie (December 25, 2021). "5 current AEW stars born in wealthy families". Sportskeeda.


  • Gottehrer, Barry. The Giants of New York, the history of professional football's most fabulous dynasty. New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1963 OCLC 1356301
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Michigan Wolverines starting quarterbacks
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New York Giants starting quarterbacks
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New York Giants head coaches

# denotes interim head coach

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Brooklyn Dodgers / Tigers starting quarterbacks
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Brooklyn Dodgers / Tigers head coaches
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Detroit Heralds / Tigers / Panthers / Wolverines
  • Series of defunct Ohio League and National Football League clubs 1908–28 based in Detroit
  • Detroit Heralds from 1905–20
  • The Heralds were renamed the Detroit Tigers in 1921
  • A new franchise was established as the Detroit Panthers 1925–26
  • Cleveland Bulldogs relocated to Detroit and played in 1928 as the Detroit Wolverines
The Franchise
  • Detroit Heralds/Tigers
  • Detroit Panthers
  • Detroit Wolverines
NFL seasons
  • Bill Marshall (Heralds/Tigers)
  • Jimmy Conzelman (Panthers)
  • Benny Friedman (Wolverines)
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  • e
CCNY Beavers head football coaches
  • Lionel McKenzie (1907)
  • No varsity team (1908–1909)
  • Lionel McKenzie (1910)
  • No team (1911)
  • Harold J. Parker (1924–1933)
  • Benny Friedman (1934–1941)
  • Doc Alexander (1942)
  • Leo Miller (1943–1944)
  • Louis Gebhard (1945–1946)
  • Harold J. Parker (1947–1948)
  • Frank Tubridy (1949)
  • Irving Mondschein (1950)
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  • e
Brandeis Judges athletic directors
  • Benny Friedman (1948–1962)
  • Mickey Fisher # (1962–1963)
  • Irving Olin (1963–1967)
  • Nick Rodis (1967–1984)
  • Chaz Crawford (1984–1986)
  • Jeff Cohen (1986–2004)
  • Sheryl Sousa (2004–2015)
  • Lynne Dempsey (2015–2018)
  • Jim Zotz # (2018)
  • Jeffrey Ward # (2018–2019)
  • Lauren Haynie (2019– )

# denotes acting or interim athletic director

Benny Friedman—awards and honors
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Chicago Tribune Silver Football
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Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2005
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Running backs
Wide receivers /
Tight ends
Pre-modern era
two-way players
Defensive backs
Special teams
Italics denotes members who have been elected, but not yet inducted.
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